Two out Democrats spoke on the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention, just before former Vice President Joe Biden formally accepted the party’s nomination.
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) gave three-minute speeches last night. Buttigieg talked about inclusivity, drawing on his experiences of being gay and in the military. Baldwin focused on access to health care – especially for her non-traditional family – and the coronavirus pandemic.
“Just over 10 years ago, I joined a military where firing me because of who I am wasn’t just possible—it was policy,” Buttigieg said in his speech. “Now in 2020, it is unlawful in America to fire anyone because of who they are or who they love.”
“The very ring on my finger,” he said, showing everyone his wedding ring, “reflects how this country can change. Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible — including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land.”
“Can America be a place where faith is about healing and not exclusion? Can we become a country that lives up to the truth that Black Lives Matter?”
“The day I was born, close to where I’m standing, here in South Bend, the idea of an ‘out’ candidate seeking any federal office at all was laughable. Yet earlier this year I campaigned for the presidency, often with my husband at my side, winning delegates to this very convention.”
Baldwin’s speech started with a story of how she was sick when she was nine-years-old and had to be hospitalized for several months. Because she was being raised by her grandparents, she couldn’t be covered on their insurance plan, so they had to pay for her hospitalization themselves. After that, she couldn’t be covered because she had a pre-existing condition.
“We all have stories like this. Stories about a time when the system was rigged against us. When we were counted out, left out, pushed out,” Baldwin said.
She brought both of the reasons she didn’t have insurance as a kid – because she was being raised by her grandparents and then her pre-existing condition – back to the Affordable Care Act, which banned insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions and allowed more people to keep their dependents on their insurance plans.
“We got that done. And, yes, it was a big effin’ deal,” she said, a reference to a 2010 Joe Biden line on the Affordable Care Act.